Sunday, January 5, 2014

KS - Moving backwards

User story
The following was sent to us via the USER STORY form and posted with the users permission.

By Darrin:
I was convicted in 2013 of lewd and lascivious behavior, a non-person misdemeanor, after 90 days in jail in Wichita Kansas. I was not told that I would be required to register until after the paperwork was signed and I went to talk to my probation officer. In the end, I was still required to do so.

Over the past 10 years I have faithfully registered wherever I was, even when I had to register in 2 different states at the same time because I lived in one and worked in another. And then, with 1 year left to register, Kansas ADDED 5 more years, retroactively to my registration requirements, I suppose I was lucky because some received more.

So now I move to Oklahoma for a job promotion. Turns out that now that I'm here, regardless of what the state says where the offense occurred, I must now register for LIFE. What the heck? So in 5 years, when my requirements are met in Kansas, I must continue to register in Oklahoma.

In all this time, I've lost jobs, been refused jobs and homes,been required to move, and suffered ridicule from neighbors and co-workers. I've never re-offended or had any kind of trouble. I've worked hard and climbed the ladder so as to have a pretty good job and my employer has supported me along the way. I guess you could say that I'm lucky, but I prefer to think that the harder I work, the luckier I get. Still, retroactive means just that, and it's unconstitutional. But until law makers find a better, more effective way of gaining votes, sex offenders will continue to be their go-to line for being tough on crime because it just "sounds right."

Until we can get lawmakers to THINK with their heads and not their desire to remain in office, we've got our hands full. But little by little, I hope that we can stop the erosion of our rights and liberties. Sure, there are some offenders who have rightfully lost their liberties and freedoms, but there are those of us who have followed the law, done what was asked/required of us, and have earned those freedoms and liberties back. The best sex-offender is a tax-paying, producing member of society. This should be the goal, not finding ways to make our lives harder and tracking more of us.

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